French Ambassador to Dhaka Jean-Marin Schuh said that Bangladesh and France have a bright future together despite the difficult times they are going through at the moment.
“More than common interests, we also share a common vision, particularly with regard to climate change, and we will work every day to strengthen our strategic partnerships in this changing world,” said the ambassador on Monday.
In a message on the occasion of the French national holiday, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, Ambassador Schuh said that, unfortunately, they could never return to “normal”, to their way of life as it was before Covid-19.
“But this unprecedented disruption can also be seen as an opportunity to emerge stronger from the crisis,” he said, adding that during the darkest times, they learned that the actions of each individual are important.
In France, Bangladesh and around the world, the social value of medical personnel has been highlighted for all, said the ambassador.
The importance of those fulfilling essential roles, who continued to lose interest in their daily tasks to enable two countries to survive the crisis, must be remembered every day, he said.
Certain goods and services must be placed outside the laws of the market, said the envoy.
Ambassador Schuh said that the coming months and years will require decisions to be made and that governments will have to put health care and social protection at the center of their policies to avoid another disaster.
“In such a context, the need for international collaboration increases, because no country can face this crisis alone,” he said.
Ambassador Schuh said that they cannot overcome these difficulties on their own and that it is by standing together that they will successfully meet this enormous challenge.
He said the two countries have developed excellent relations since the earliest days of the independence struggle led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971.
André Malraux, who fought for freedom during the civil war in Spain, gave him solid support and is today a symbol of our friendship.
“Sustainable development is at the heart of our cooperation and the French Development Agency has been a solid pillar from the start,” said Ambassador Schuh.
Since Bangladesh is facing the dramatic socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, a concessional loan of 150 million euros will be granted to help the country, he said.
The ambassador also mentioned the success of defense and security cooperation. “Florence Parly’s visit in March, our Ministry of the Armed Forces, reaffirms the mutual commitment of our two countries to work side by side to strengthen the stability and security of the region. ”
The ambassador said they commemorate the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789.
“More than our national holiday, we celebrate the universal values stemming from the French revolution and which are at the heart of who we are. Just like France, Bangladesh is a country where the word freedom has a deep resonance, and I want us to remember that our friendship is also ingrained in our existence as free nations, “he said.
On July 14, they celebrate their national holiday as is their tradition, but in a non-traditional way.
“We don’t organize celebrations like we did before. Around the world, in the past four months, our countries have experienced major changes as a result of the current pandemic, “said the Ambassador.
He said that everyone was affected, on different levels. “Some have to cope with mourning, many have to cope with job loss, and we all long for this day when we no longer have to worry about the safety of our loved ones.”